by Donna Tartt
- very good
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About This Item
Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Donna Tartt's novel The Goldfinch enjoyed a meteoric rise since its debut in October 2013. The Goldfinch is Tartt's third novel after the very successful The Secret History (1992) and The Little Friend (2002) and enjoyed an initial printing of 75,000 copies by publisher Little, Brown, and Company. Frustratingly for fans of the author, it took Tartt almost 11 years to complete The Goldfinch , but it became one of the most anticipated books of 2013, and it quickly became a best seller. Interestingly, although most Pulitzer Prize winning novels only become best sellers after they win the illustrious award, The Goldfinch was the opposite—it enjoyed a great critical and audience reception long before it was nominated for the Pulitzer. In a common pattern for Tartt, The Goldfinch is a long book, finishing at over 700 pages. The simple dust jacket design features the image of a painting of a goldfinch peeking through ripped paper. Later editions of the book will surely update the dust jacket to indicate its win of the Pulitzer Prize. Tartt is a quiet and very private writer, so signed, first edition copies of The Goldfinch are rare and will only continue to skyrocket in value. Further, if Tartt continues to write and publish such excellent and well-received novels, the overall value of her entire repertoire of novels will rise as well. Since The Goldfinch is such a large and thus heavy book, collectors wishing to maintain the highest quality will want to be especially careful not to bend or place any undue pressure on the spine.
Read more: Identifying first editions of The Goldfinch
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Award-winning American author, Donna Tartt begins her third novel with her twenty-seven-year-old protagonist, Theo Decker, in December, hiding out in an Amsterdam hotel room, reflecting on his life, while scanning newspapers for any available information about a recent murder. Over the next seven hundred plus pages, these in-depth reflections form a meticulously detailed account of the Theo's life, beginning with the circumstances, when he was just thirteen, of his mother's death, an event of which he says: "Things would have turned out better if she had lived." It was then that he acquired the eponymous Goldfinch, the single remaining painting by 17th century Dutch Master, Carel Fabritius.
The ride that Tartt takes the reader on starts with Theo a virtual orphan in pseudo-foster care, then in the care of his negligent father, consuming copious quantities of drugs and alcohol. When fifteen-year-old Theo looks in the mirror, he notes his resemblance to his (safe-to-say) despised father, Larry, and when Larry's girlfriend Xandra flings at him "You and your dad are a whole lot more alike than you might think. You're his kid, through and through", his denial is vehement. It becomes apparent from his later behaviour (drugs, alcohol, betrayal of good friends, criminal dishonesty) that she was indeed perceptive.
Readers familiar with Australian author Steve Toltz's epic debut novel, A Fraction of the Whole (2008) may notice similarities, both in the length (somewhat daunting), the careless parenting, the roller-coaster life, and the black humour (in lesser quantity), although Tartt's work is much less far-fetched. She certainly achieves a vivid portrayal of a thirteen-year-old boy's grief at the loss of his mother.
Tartt has a talent for character description: "I found myself blinking up in the late afternoon glare at a very tall, very very tanned, very thin man, of indeterminate age. He looked partly like a rodeo guy and partly like a fucked-up lounge entertainer. His gold-rimmed aviators were tinted purple at the top; he was wearing a white sports jacket over a red cowboy shirt with pearl snaps and black jeans, but the main thing I noticed was his hair: part toupee, part transplanted or sprayed-on, with a texture like fibreglass insulation and a dark brown color like shoe polish in the tin." A good literary read that would have benefited from some judicious editing.
- J.H. Gordon Books (CA)
- Bookseller Inventory #
- The Goldfinch
- Donna Tartt
- Hardcover, cream cloth boards
- Book condition
- Used - Very Good
- Jacket condition
- Very Good
- Quantity available
- ISBN 10
- ISBN 13
- Little, Brown and Company
- Place of Publication
- New York
- Date published
- Contemporary fiction, novel, Dutch art, family drama, American Literature, Pulitzer Prize
- Bookseller catalogs
Terms of Sale
J.H. Gordon Books
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About J.H. Gordon Books
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